Empowering the Entrepreneurs of Tomorrow

Are you a young, aspiring entrepreneur? Unsure where to turn?

Would you like to learn from the first-hand experiences of other young, successful Muslims? How would you feel about connecting with them on an individual level, learning about available resources and supports, and expanding your network? Could access to mentorship and advice from experienced professionals impact the likelihood that your start-up would succeed?

The ISNA Compass team felt that the answer to this last question was a resounding yes. So, as part of the 41st Annual ISNA Canada Convention, on Sunday, May 17th, 2015 ISNA Compass hosted its highly anticipated Entrepreneurial Networking Session. This session featured the minds behind start-ups such as N-Ti, Studio 89, Oils by Balance, Saleh Enterprises, and Deen Up Athletics.

The event began with a panel discussion, moderated by Sr. Besma Soltan, who is involved with a number of social enterprise and non-profit organisations. Each of the 6 panelists —Fatima Nurmohamed, Zehra Abbas, Omnia Helbah, Ahmed Saleh, Jovon Biggart and Nahyan Chaudhry—shared the details of their respective journeys and provided general advice to the 25 or so attendees.

This was followed by breaking into small groups to allow for Q&A and networking among attendees and panelists, after which attendees were able to sign up for one-on-one appointments with panelists. Attendees appeared to leave the session with a greater sense of self-confidence and knowledge of where to turn for start-up support.

Below are some of the common themes emerging from the conversation:

1. You don’t need to have formal education in any particular area in order to be a successful entrepreneur.
2. You need to be passionate about what you do. It is what you will be doing for 25 hours of every day, so you better enjoy it!
3. Be positive. There will be challenges and failures. Don’t lose hope. Failing is an integral part of the learning process.
4. You will need perseverance, tempered with self-reflection. This ensures that, while you will keep moving towards your goals, you are also able to examine and learn from past mistakes.
5. You need to be disciplined, and develop a strict work ethic, especially if you work as part of a team with friends or loved ones.
6. Develop a clear vision for yourself and your start-up.
7. You also need to be ready to experiment and embrace the unexpected.
8. Be humble about any successes you achieve.
9. Talk to the people around you, and don’t forget to network!

This session was brought to the convention as part of the ISNA Compass mission to promote an empowered GTA Muslim presence. At Compass, we know that reaching out to and connecting like-minded community members with one another is the key to making this happen. The Compass mandate for 2015 is Professional Development. Stay tuned for more exciting events to come!

Join the conversation! Connect with us in person by visiting the Compass office (next to the bookstore) or online at compass@isnacanada.com to comment, ask a question, browse our resources, or simply chat with representatives on the subject.



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About ISNA Canada

ISNA Canada is an Islamic organization committed to the mission and movement of Islam: nurturing a way of life in the light of the guidance from the Qur’an and Sunnah for establishing a vibrant presence of Muslims in Canada. ISNA exists as a platform for all Muslims who share its mission and are dedicated to serving the needs of Muslims and Muslim communities.